I’m staring down the barrel at 3 weeks of the Roc and me togetherness. All of his waking hours will be spent in my vicinity. There is not a moment in the day where I can say “go play!” and off he goes. He does not play outside alone and the little spurts of “playing alone” in our house are few and far between, and they are more like stimming sessions than playing. I have big mixed emotions as I examine the rest of the month of June and I simply lack the words to describe the way I feel. Then there are the feelings I have about my mixed emotions, mainly guilt swirled together with a bit of “what’s wrong with me? Who doesn’t look forward to school breaks where they get to spend time with their kids?”
I tried to explain myself a bit to GC Sunday afternoon and he said to me “You just have to relax Kim, there are things you can do with him, won’t L and D be home? Set up the sprinkler.” To which I replied, “Never mind, you just don’t get it.” And he walked away, upstairs to have a chat with the Roc about how it’s okay to get frustrated, it’s not okay to try to kick the dog…
Not the best way to communicate with your husband. But sometimes I really lack the words to express how I feel. Have I mentioned that yet? And sometimes I feel that I am the only one feeling this way. I am the only one who is “ON” 24/7, 7 days a week in our house.
I try, try, try to stay positive. I focus on the progress, the little bits and the big jumps both make me feel like the Roc is moving uphill, at his own pace. But sometimes it feels like we are slipping or stalling out. I don’t know how to discipline this child. There is nothing I can lord over his head, nothing I can take away, no threat and follow through that works. Screaming doesn’t work, (don’t know why I still try that one out at least once a day…) I feel like I’m missing something, some clue on what to do with this child. How to reason or make him understand. I’m frustrated and worn out. Some days I’m ready to throw in the towel and the sun has barely risen.
Lately the Roc has been uber defiant. Testing us. Testing me the most. Pushing my buttons. Trying to see if he can outlast me. Always looking for a reaction. Never mind the negative outcome. And he knows what he is doing. Case in point: I told him he couldn’t take a morning bath because there wasn’t enough time before school to which he replied, after screaming and screeching about his desire to take a bath, “I will keep asking until you let me.” Who is this child? Of course on one hand GC and I celebrated the new found push for independence, the “typicality” of his recent attitude change complete with some new use of language. We would look at each other in surprise at the dinner table in response to some sassy retort from the Roc. Thoughts flashed between us, “did you hear that?” “the sentence structure!” “the appropriate tone of voice!” “how funny!” “try not to laugh, it will only make it worse!” But it was only funny for a few days, we aren’t laughing anymore.
We have been having major bedtime battles. This boy who would do x, y, z, in that order, used to go off to bed without a peep. After the last story had been read I would slide out of his room with a “Goodnight, I love you, I’ll see you in the morning,” gently close the door, wipe my brow, take a deep breath, and get on with my evening. My time. Now he throws out every excuse he can come up with to stall bedtime. “I have to go potty!” “I want to play!” “It’s too dark in here!” “I’m hungry!” “My tummy hurts, I need a snack!” “Mommy, I want to talk to you!” “Mommy, I NEED to talk to you!” “I need water!” “NO, not in a cup! In my water bottle!” “I’m going downstairs!” “I am the adult and you are the child!” “You can’t make me!” “Hey, don’t tell me what to do!” And on and on. He completely defies us when we tell him he has to go to bed, he comes right out of his room and runs around. We won’t chase him but he runs if we look in his direction. He says he will go to the bathroom and then climbs on his rocking horse. We put him back in his room, he comes right back out. He screeches and screams and writhes on the floor as we try in vain to get him to bed. 7:30 bedtime has stretched to after 10 pm most nights. That sass that started at the dinner table? Not so cute anymore.
But it’s not just at bedtime or the dinner table where we are battling. Everything is a battle. Anything he dislikes in the slightest is cause for a battle complete with guttural screeching, screaming, tomato red face, and foot stomping. It’s maddening and so wearing.
We tried using the happy/frowny face slips his teacher used at the beginning of the year. We threaten with no dessert or no pool, but have to be careful that those things aren’t too far away time wise, or they hold no value. I pulled out his picture schedule to plan our days and he’s been using it religiously. Though now instead of just following the schedule, he will take off the “go to the bus stop” and “go to school” pictures and put them away telling me that he doesn’t have to go to school. Very crafty indeed, but it doesn’t work that way kid! We have been ignoring some of the things he does just for a reaction in hopes that he will tone it down if he doesn’t get a reaction, all the while reassuring each other that “this too shall pass.”
Please tell me it will.
Please, oh please, oh please…let this be a phase. A developmental milestone he’s hitting 2-3 years late.
I am almost out of resources.